BOUNTIFUL – For home bound senior citizens, Meals on Wheels can be a lifeline – perhaps their only daily connection with the outside world.
Some 330 seniors throughout Davis County receive meals, and personal contact, five days a week through this route. It’s provided by the Senior Services Division of the Davis County Health Department.
The program is being promoted this week as part of Community Champions Week.
County Commissioners Bret Millburn and Louenda Downs were joined by Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt in delivering food to home bound seniors. Davis Chamber of Commerce President Jim Smith lent a hand by serving meals at the Autumn Glow Senior Activity Center in Kaysville.
A cadre of volunteers gets meals prepared for distribution each day at the county’s three senior centers, while a driver and runner take meals to the home bound seniors.
In addition to a meal each weekday, additional meals are provided, where requested, to cover one each for Saturdays and Sundays.
At Golden Years Senior Activity Center in Bountiful Ruth Brown is in charge of the program. The center’s kitchen is a flurry of activity as volunteers scramble to assemble meals in sacks and have them on three vans, and out on the road by about 10:20 a.m. each weekday.
Dan Jensen and Barbara Jeppsen are a driver/runner team and volunteer at Golden Years.
Jensen’s been at it for about six years and Jeppsen has volunteered for about eight years.
“When I retired from teaching, I was a volunteer on the front desk,” Jeppsen said. She returned to volunteering after her husband passed away.
“It’s a good thing to do,” she said, literally running to some of the doorsteps.
The pair don’t merely leave a meal at the door. They must make contact, see and hear from the senior citizen, and deliver the meal into their hands. If no one is home or doesn’t answer, they leave a note.
But they do all they can to make that contact.
Such was the case at one senior apartment complex, where Jeppsen couldn’t reach the senior. She called the office and finally made contact with someone so the meal could be left.
While it seemed like a long time before that was accomplished, it was only a matter of minutes, and then the pair was on their way to the next home.
“One woman uses a walker and she was right at the door to meet us,” Jeppsen said of one instance.
Some of their 40 or so seniors have been on the program for many years. Others signed up a few months ago.
“We’ve got it down to a real science,” Jensen said.
Davis County serves about 6,100 meals a month to home bound seniors, said Debbie Draper, Nutrition Services Bureau manager.
“Our 60 volunteers work tirelessly to ensure meals are delivered in a timely, efficient manner,” she said.
Volunteers are always needed. Call your senior activity center for more information.